Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
December 1, 2010

The moment a new Mustang is announced, the aftermarket wheels start turning. For us, it's one of the most exciting times in magazine land. The anticipation of how the next Mustang will respond to the overtures of speed freaks is at the heart of what we do. As such, when we finally get down to business with a real-world car and a pile of parts, it's quite simply a lot of fun.

When Lethal Performance approached us about covering the buildup of its latest project car-a Grabber Blue '11 GT-it didn't take long to say "yes." We've seen the fearlessness with which the company has approached its previous project cars, particularly the massive overhaul of fresh-off-the-lot GT500s. Knowing the company would dive right into the new 5.0 with the same abandon made it an easy choice.

"We knew the 2011 GT was going to be a success," Lethal Performance's Jared Rosen explained. "From its power rating to its fuel economy to its price, it can't be beat. That basically made it a no-brainer to get one. It also opened the door for us to help develop and test new parts as the motor, fuel system, and many other things had changed from the previous year."

While it would be easy to go nuts on the new Mustang with forced induction, the plan was to show a bit of restraint-at least, initially. As such, Jared formulated a logical package of the typical intake and exhaust bolt-ons for our test. Of course, never one to leave well enough alone, Jared already had a nitrous kit onboard to put the icing on the bolt-on cake. As you'll see from our dyno sidebar, the results were quite impressive for such a modest list of additions.

"The tune itself really helped to improve throttle response; raising the rev limiter over stock allowed us to take advantage of the car's high-rpm powerband. Add a high-flow JLT intake into the mix and you've just made it even that much better," Jared enthused. "Then to gain another 14 rwhp from ditching the cats and going with the Lethal 3-inch off-road X-it put us over 400 rwhp, which is great power for simple bolt-ons."

Quite simply, the latest Mustang is impressive, and we're just getting started with modding these cars.

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On The Dyno
To expedite our testing, Lethal baselined the car before we arrived. Then we followed the installation of the driveshaft and exhaust at Power By The Hour before dynoing again, so the exhaust and driveshaft were the only parts not dyno'd separately. We would expect most of the gain came from the exhaust in that case, but we're just letting you know so you can accurately digest the info.

In any case, adding a basic group of bolt-ons-exhaust, driveshaft, JLT CAI, and tune-put the Lethal '11 over 400 ponies at the feet! The car still has the stock engine from throttle body to exhaust manifolds. That's an impressive feat, but topping that off with a 125-shot from a Zex nitrous kit took the car up to 485 hp and nearly 500 lb-ft of torque!

Simply put, this car is a sleeper that can hurt the feelings of unsuspecting challengers.

StockExhaustK&N FilterJLT CAI
RPMHPTQHPTQHPTQHPTQ
3,000167.18292.67170.33298.19174.00304.61178.09311.77
3,500214.15321.34219.15328.85223.94336.04231.10346.78
4,000257.14337.63269.26353.55274.71360.70281.56369.68
4,500298.69348.61312.97365.27317.05370.04329.17384.19
5,000326.23342.68334.76351.62339.71356.84353.18370.98
5,500350.10334.32365.42348.94369.49352.84386.33368.93
6,000353.92309.81368.59322.66369.17323.16389.88341.29
6,500363.74293.91377.29304.73381.35308.14401.14324.13
7,000n/an/an/an/an/an/a387.19290.51

Stock Vs.Nitrous Vs.
Bolt-OnsNitrousBolt-Ons
RPMHPTQHPTQHPTQ
3,00010.9119.10n/an/an/an/a
3,50016.9525.44298.18447.4167.08100.63
4,00024.4232.05374.56491.8093.00122.12
4,50030.4835.58414.62483.9385.4599.74
5,00026.9528.30453.18476.03100.00105.05
5,50036.2334.61466.30445.2979.9776.36
6,00035.9631.48476.80417.3786.9276.08
6,50037.4030.22485.17392.0384.0367.90
7,000n/an/an/an/an/an/a